NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20000060846: Overcoming Dynamic Disturbances in Imaging Systems
Publication date 2000-01-01
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), DYNAMIC CONTROL, CONTROL THEORY, OPTICAL CONTROL, OPTICAL EQUIPMENT, PERTURBATION THEORY, CONTROL SYSTEMS DESIGN, SPECKLE HOLOGRAPHY, DIFFRACTION PATTERNS, SPECKLE PATTERNS, IMAGE RESOLUTION, FINITE DIFFERENCE THEORY, DIFFERENCE EQUATIONS, FAULT TOLERANCE, Young, Eric W., Dente, Gregory C., Lyon, Richard G., Chesters, Dennis, Gong, Qian,
We develop and discuss a methodology with the potential to yield a significant reduction in complexity, cost, and risk of space-borne optical systems in the presence of dynamic disturbances. More robust systems almost certainly will be a result as well. Many future space-based and ground-based optical systems will employ optical control systems to enhance imaging performance. The goal of the optical control subsystem is to determine the wavefront aberrations and remove them. Ideally reducing an aberrated image of the object under investigation to a sufficiently clear (usually diffraction-limited) image. Control will likely be distributed over several elements. These elements may include telescope primary segments, telescope secondary, telescope tertiary, deformable mirror(s), fine steering mirror(s), etc. The last two elements, in particular, may have to provide dynamic control. These control subsystems may become elaborate indeed. But robust system performance will require evaluation of the image quality over a substantial range and in a dynamic environment. Candidate systems for improvement in the Earth Sciences Enterprise could include next generation Landsat systems or atmospheric sensors for dynamic imaging of individual, severe storms. The technology developed here could have a substantial impact on the development of new systems in the Space Science Enterprise; such as the Next Generation Space Telescope(NGST) and its follow-on the Next NGST. Large Interferometric Systems of non-zero field, such as Planet Finder and Submillimeter Probe of the Evolution of Cosmic Structure, could benefit. These systems most likely will contain large, flexible optomechanical structures subject to dynamic disturbance. Furthermore, large systems for high resolution imaging of planets or the sun from space may also benefit. Tactical and Strategic Defense systems will need to image very small targets as well and could benefit from the technology developed here. We discuss a novel speckle imaging technique with the potential to separate dynamic aberrations from static aberrations. Post-processing of a set of image data, using an algorithm based on this technique, should work for all but the lowest light levels and highest frequency dynamic environments. This technique may serve to reduce the complexity of the control system and provide for robust, fault-tolerant, reduced risk operation. For a given object, a short exposure image is "frozen" on the focal plane in the presence of the environmental disturbance (turbulence, jitter, etc.). A key factor is that this imaging data exhibits frame-to-frame linear shift invariance. Therefore, although the Point Spread Function is varying from frame to frame, the source is fixed; and each short exposure contains object spectrum data out to the diffraction limit of the imaging system. This novel speckle imaging technique uses the Knox-Thompson method. The magnitude of the complex object spectrum is straightforward to determine by well-established approaches. The phase of the complex object spectrum is decomposed into two parts. One is a single-valued function determined by the divergence of the optical phase gradient. The other is a multi-valued function determined by the circulation of the optical phase gradient-"hidden phase." Finite difference equations are developed for the phase. The novelty of this approach is captured in the inclusion of this "hidden phase." This technique allows the diffraction-limited reconstruction of the object from the ensemble of short exposure frames while simultaneously estimating the phase as a function of time from a set of exposures.
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